Beyond its eye-candy appeal, Bergen’s bursting with bakeries, restaurants and bars waiting to tempt you with local treats. It’s even a member of UNESCO’s City of Gastronomy network. From piping-hot pastries to sumptuous seafood, you’re never far from a mouth-watering moment. To help you map out your must-eats, we’ve put together a guide to the city’s top dishes. Let’s dig in…
There are few ways better to start the day in Bergen than with a fresh-out-the-oven skillingsboller. These cinnamon swirls of pastry are lathered in butter, sprinkled in sugar and pair perfectly with a morning coffee. Do like the locals do and enjoy yours with a slice of brunost (brown cheese), which has a unique caramel-like flavour.
Buy them at: BakerBrun
When a bakery has a queue winding out the door, you know you’re on to a winner. Don’t be put off though, as the service is fast, so you’ll be munching on these moreish creations in no time. There are a few of these bakeries dotted around the city, but the one on the waterfront is usually the busiest.
After a jam-packed morning soaking up the sights, you’ll no doubt be ready to refuel. Among Bergen’s seafaring booty, you’ll find crayfish, smoked herring, lobster and cod. If it’s impossible to settle on one, go for the Bergensk fiskesuppe (fish soup), which is full of different varieties. Ingredients vary from restaurant to restaurant, but you can expect chunks of flaky dish floating in a creamy broth.
Try it here: It’ll come as no surprise that the place to go for all things seafood is Bergen’s fish market. Each of the permanent stands has its own menu, spanning everything from the traditional to the splurge- worthy. Not a fish fan? There’s an ice cream parlour, as well as stalls selling a range of delightful deli goods.
Whether you want Michelin-starred dining or a more laidback affair, dinnertime in Bergen promises plenty of spoils. Dishes have a seafood slant, with specialities like persetorsk, sitting top of the to-chew list. Cod is the centrepiece of this dish. It’s fried in bacon fat until the skin is nice and crispy and then smothered in a shallot-based sauce. *Chef’s kiss!*
Book a table at: If you’re a real foodie, a meal at Michelin-starred Bare Restaurant is well worth splashing out on. Located inside the lavish Bergen Børs Hotel, the focus is on organic produce and fresh ingredients.
Top tip: If you’re visiting on a Thursday, you’re likely to spot raspeballer on many menus. Historically, Thursdays were typically a day of trading, so hungry locals would seek out something cheap and filling to keep them going. And these potato dumplings did just the trick! Often served with salted meat, bacon or Vossa sausage – they’ll satisfy any “I’m hungry” grumblings.
And to drink…
Bergen knows a thing or two about beer. There are a handful of microbreweries dotted in and around the city and some even offer tastings, so you can learn all about the production process. Hansa is the most popular, a refreshing pilsner with a distinct hoppy flavour. Aquavit is another of Norway’s well-known tipples. Infused with herbs and spices, it packs a real flavour punch.
Check out: Start your evening at Muskedunder, a quirky bar in the city centre. Expect a friendly, low-key atmosphere and expertly crafted cocktails. The beer list is extensive too.
Posted: 4th Sept 2023. Updated: 4th Sept 2023.